Stockfeeds shares sold below value to Robert Badal – Finance Minister
Government’s shares in Guyana Stockfeeds Limited were sold to the majority shareholder, Robert Badal at a price below market value, Finance Minister Winston Jordan said.
Speaking to News Room at the Parliament Buildings Monday, the Finance Minister explained that three valuations were done to determine the value of the shares.
“Three valuations of the shares based on how they are valued were submitted to Cabinet. All three were around the same ballpark.”
But he noted that “the offer that was given to us … is not for the valuation price.”
According to the Finance Minister, “the price that Badal offered us is lower than what we have had a valuation done for the shares.”
Minister Jordan justified the sale below the going rate, noting that Government decided to sell the shares since it was not receiving dividends from the company.
The Government’s shares, held by its asset holding and investment arm NICIL, amounted to 5, 437, or 6.7 percent of total shares. The sale price was $25 per share.
Badal was the only one to respond to advertisements for Expressions of Interests to buy the shares, Government had announced.
Former Attorney General and Opposition Parliamentarian, Anil Nandlall wants the transaction to be investigated by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU).
Nandlall assumed that no valuation was done to determine the price of the shares.
In that regard, he contended that the transaction is similar to that which former Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh and former NICIL Head Winston Brassington are charged with.
The two officials were charged for misconduct in public office over the sale of several plots of land without conducting a valuation exercise.
“Therefore, if Singh and Brassington committed criminal offences then fairness and justice would demand that charges be immediately instituted in respect of the Stockfeeds’ purchase of shares,” Nandlall said in a Facebook post.
Compounding the situation, Nandlall told News Room on Monday, is the fact that Badal is a known financier of the Coalition Government.
Guyana Stockfeeds Limited was established in the 1960s to supply animal feed to Guyana’s livestock sector.
The company was nationalised in 1975 but was put back into private hands in the late 1990s.
The main facilities are located at Farm, East Bank Demerara. (Devina Samaroo)